By Joe Menges
As presidential politics is continuously in the news let us not forget that “Politics is Local” and county government leadership is just as important to the daily lives of not only the residents of individual counties but all of the surrounding counties. This importance of local leadership is often drowned out by the hype of national politics during a presidential election year but it should be at the forefront in county residents’ minds. It is said that politics is local but it also should be said that leadership is local.
This is why Lake County is placing itself in prime position to have a prosperous future, not only for itself but all surrounding counties. Lake County has many long time elected officials that are retiring, but to fill in for those exiting leaders are six Republican Candidates who are primed to lead Lake County and Northern Illinois to a great future.
Referred to by the Lake County Young Republicans as the ‘Super Six,’ these candidates are primed to continue the leadership shown by retiring county leaders.
These ‘Super Six’ candidates are led by candidate for States Attorney Mike Nerheim. With the retirement of Lake County States Attorney Michael Waller, who has served Lake County for 22 years, the county will be missing key leadership. This loss in leadership creates an opening for new leadership within Lake County which will carry the county into the future.
Mike Nerheim has the ability to be one of the leaders that influence Lake County for the better. He has pledged to work with Lake County law enforcement to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement in Lake County, change the manner in which first time non-violent offenders are handled by the court system in order to lower the burden of crowed courts while ensuring first time offenders do not become second time offenders.
Mike Nerheim has pledged to create a system to effectively use DNA evidence and to create an review panel so that if a conviction is called into question an independent review panel can review the conviction to ensure only the guilty are convicted.
These are changes that all will advance the States Attorney’s Office and will take time but Mike Nerheim has the ability to move the office and county into the future.
Steve Newton is the ‘Super Six’ candidate for Coroner and with his law enforcement background he will bring the Lake County Coroner’s office back to a level of dignity and professionalism that everyone expects.
In recent years the office of Lake County Coroner has been plagued by scandal and criminal activity while being operated under Democratic control. Steve Newton will bring respect, integrity and decency back to the Coroner’s office at a time when it is surely needed. Steve served in Barbara Richardson’s Coroner’s office between 2000-2007, and was promoted as her Chief Deputy.
After his departure, with the election of a Democrat, the office lost its way respecting the deaths of loved ones and ensuring professional death investigations; that Democratic Coroner was forced to resign.
Steve will return core values to the office with his experience of conducting and supervising over 15,000 medical-legal death investigations. Importantly, he is the last person to have administered a balanced budget for the coroner’s office. This is experience that Steve will provide and the service that Lake County residents deserve in their elected officials.
Keith Brin is the ‘Super Six’ candidate for Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Many do not know the importance of the Clerk of the Court and how inefficiencies can slow the court system down. The Clerk of the Court holds all documents and record of all traffic, civil, criminal and juvenile cases filed and heard in Lake County. Other important functions are to collect and disperse traffic and criminal fines, civil fees and child support.
Keith has been the Chief Deputy of Sally Coffelt, the current Clerk of the Circuit Clerk, who will be retiring this year. Keith has been working in his current position to incorporate electronic filing into the Clerk's office. Having electronic filing will allow easier review and management of documents which will make the Lake County Courthouse run more efficiently. Keith Brin has the leadership experience as Chief Deputy to continue the push of electronic filing for the Court and currently has the knowledge of how that process should go forward.
Nick Sauer is a ‘Super Six’ candidate for Lake County Board. Nick is running unopposed for County Board District 17 after the retirement of long time board member Steve Mountsier. Nick is a current member of the Barrington School Board and has pushed for balancing its budget and decreased annual spending. This type of experience is needed as Lake County continues to maintain an AAA bond rating while maintaining effective services for Lake County Residents.
Aaron Lawlor is a ‘Super Six’ candidate and current Lake County Board Member for District 18. Aaron has already shown his leadership on the Lake County Board. He strongly supported cost cutting measures to reduce spending in every county department, a 2011 proposal to reduce commissioner salaries and a 2010 proposal to freeze county board salaries and was one of the first to pledge to give back his 2010 pay raise. This type of leadership needs to be kept on the Lake County Board.
Michael Carbone is the ‘Super Six’ candidate for Lake County Board District 16. Michael is a current member of Community Consolidated School District 46 Board and a small business owner. Michael Carbone has said that “Government should work for the people, from creating tax incentives to attract potential employers to streamlining services and building relationships between local governments and their state and federal legislators.”
Although these may be called the Young Republicans ‘Super Six’ candidates they are very much Lake County’s ‘Super Six’ as they all bring different experiences and new ideas which will fill in for the many longtime officials that are retiring.
As the news keeps to the presidential election local elections must not be overlooked.